It was many years ago when I first thought about what that simple, four letter word meant. A word that is so easily thrown around by some yet can be so difficult for others to say, even though they feel it.
It’s a word that is with me every second of every day.
It can be so simple, and yet so, so complex. And I’m not talking about romantic love.
I was pregnant with my first child and feeling quite anxious about being a mother. I went to a session at a Reiki Centre one day and asked the guest presenter, a ‘spiritual’ man, what it meant to be a good mother.
‘It’s simple,’ he said with a chuckle. ‘Love. Simply love your children.’
I had no idea what he meant, but from then on, I questioned what this love meant.
Some said it was unconditional love. But what did that really mean? I didn’t get it.
Then I heard that to love is to be open, and to open my heart. Again, I didn’t understand it. How do I open my heart? What did I need to do?
Years of contemplation and trying to understand, and I was starting to get it. Love is the KISS principle.
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Accept people as they are, their beauty and those things within them that are not so beautiful. We’re all humans. We all have our positives and negatives, passions, insecurities, things we excel at ...
Still, I thought, how do I do that?
Then I started to meditate. It’s not a meditation that is new age, hippy stuff, or Buddha- centric, or religious, or whatever fan-dangled name you put to it. My meditation is simple. It’s to empty my mind, and to keep it still.
My meditation is to swim laps in an outdoor pool on a day that reflects dappled sunlight through huge gum trees, with branches that dangle freely and when no one else is about. Or to run a few kilometres by a river gushing with joy after heavy rain. It is to sit quietly, early in the peace of a morning when little stirs at 5.30, or with a group of people in the evening.
Meditation can calm AND energise me beyond understanding. It's a way for me to relax and take time out, and allows me to not have to think about anything that I have to think.
It’s in this meditation, that I discovered opening my heart. For me, it’s been my secret.
I meditate, empty my mind as best I can, which is sometimes difficult to do with a million things racing about. And then I visualise my physical heart, and open it, expand it. Once I see it physically open, my love flows out and love flows in. I’m surprised by the surge that streams in and out. A peace overcomes me and stays with me afterwards, where people in the street smile at me and speak to me. I find myself smiling more and some who know me, say I look different, younger. I ‘love’ that side of it!! Nature’s anti-wrinkle fighter!
The more I practice this, the better I feel, the lighter I walk, and the more accepting of others and compassionate I feel. Everyone has a story, insecurities. Everyone seeks love of some kind.
So I think I’ve found my elixir of life.
Feel it, give it. Accept it. Accept people and life.
Listen. Understand, truly understand the circumstances. Then comes compassion.
And above all, be grateful for all that I have. Gratitude is a wonderfully grounding principle.